Well This Isn’t Good

Flash Fiction Fridays

When James first awoke he honestly had no idea what to think. He seemed to have been blinded, although he noted that he could just barely make out some kind of reflection, so it was more likely that his face was covered than there was something wrong with his eyes. For his body, however, he had no explanation at all. He was sore, as though he’d been beaten up, and he felt like he was wrapped in something snug and puffy. Strangest of all, he felt almost as if he was floating, and as he began to move that odd suspicion was confirmed. He had, effectively, full range of motion, but his entire body seemed to be suspended in mid-air, touching nothing.

Up until this point James had been a little woozy, a little disjointed, unable to really put together any coherent thoughts about what was happening. But now his head was beginning to clear. He flailed wildly, his aching limbs searching for something, anything, to touch. Slowly but surely his heart began to rise in his throat as he started to recall fuzzy snippets of a bar brawn that had involved the dishonoring of another guy’s girl.

Eventually James managed to find the release for the visor on his helmet and lifted it up to a view of thousands upon thousands of dots of starlight. The vastness of space spread out around him in every direction without even a single planet within the reach of his eyesight.

“Well, fu-“

Location Zero

Flash Fiction Fridays

(Oops…I had this post scheduled for the wrong day…better late than never, right? Enjoy!)

The work camp housed approximately five thousand people at maximum capacity, accounting for an average of one thousand commissioning technicians, twenty-five hundred construction workers, one thousand employees of the site owner company, and five hundred camp personnel.

Due to the nature of the camp, those five thousand people were almost always in very close proximity to one another. The walls were paper-thin, the air was circulated from room to room to avoid drawing in the dust-laden air from outside, and every two bedrooms shared a single toilet and shower.

Hygiene was not always kept to the highest standards. Rooms were only cleaned twice per week, with towels and washcloths being changed out on the same schedule. Bed sheets were cleaned or changed once every ten days. Food was served via a cafeteria-style system that encouraged dozens of residents at a time to lean and reach over, rummage through, and generally manhandle the dietary options.

Morale also tended to be quite low. Residents worked between a ten- and twelve-hour shift, traveling half an hour each way on overcrowded buses. Neighboring residents often had conflicting shifts, leading to arguments concerning noise complaints and shower usage timing. Washing machines, vending machines, and cellphone coverage regularly broke down. Unreasonably strict rules frustrated the majority of the residents, while the minority broke simple-to-follow rules and created unnecessary backlash for everyone.

It was a miserable place, full of angry, tired, frustrated people who had been eating poorly and getting more and more lapsed in basic hygiene practices with each passing day.

It was the perfect place for the outbreak to begin.


Flash Fiction Fridays

Have you ever stopped to consider where many of our mythological creatures originally came from? I mean, okay, I’m not talking about the Sasquatch, who obviously came about when a frightened hiker saw a grizzly-bear in the woods and exaggerated it to save face, but what series of events would lead to someone coming up with something like a unicorn? What could someone have possibly misinterpreted to come up with the chupacabra?  What kind of lizard would lead someone to imagine winged, fire-breathing monsters?

I’ve often wondered about the births of such creatures in human myth. You see, I have this theory that the human mind is incapable of creating such images from scratch. I believe that anything that has ever been conceived by the human brain must have some basis in truth…these things must have come from actual visual contact with something. In other words, in order for someone to come up with something as fantastical as a dragon, they must have actually seen something frightening that flew and spit flames.

I’ve believed my entire life, and I’ve traveled for a long time and a large distance in order to prove my theory to the world. I’ve been laughed at on every continent, but I’ve always known that if I searched long enough, worked hard enough, someday I would prove that mythological creatures – in one form or another – truly exist.

And as I lay here, my feet and wrists bound with vines as I stare into the fire that is meant to roast me up for dinner, all I can think is, Damn…it turns out Sasquatch is actually the real one after all.

Isn’t it Someone Else’s Turn?

**Note: I’m currently SUPER-busy cleaning, preparing for visitors, filming videos, getting a bunch of affairs in order, doing my taxes, etc etc etc, so for today you get a drabble, one of the cuter ones I think I’ve written in the past. Enjoy!**


Flash Fiction Fridays

Why does Godzilla always attack Japan?

As a young monster growing up I idolized Godzilla. He always seemed like the biggest and baddest of all the monsters. Even when he lost the battle he was still the coolest because he always came back.

But I did always wonder what exactly he had against the Japanese. I mean, with so many other countries just ripe for the picking, some of them even very close by, why constantly torment the same poor nation over and over again?

I’m all grown up now, a fully grown monster, and I’m going to attack Canada.

The Boy Next Door

Flash Fiction Fridays

It can’t be…

Marie stood in her driveway in pajama pants and a t-shirt, a bag of flyers and advertisements clutched firmly in her hand, her jaw hanging slack in surprise. She stared at the boy pushing a gas-powered mower across the patch of land in front of his house, the house next door to Marie’s. She stared at him with eyes wide, heart pounding, hands trembling.

It can’t be…can it?

She found herself walking toward him, one step at a time, her slippers picking up clumps of freshly-mowed grass. “Excuse me,” she heard her voice say, although she couldn’t remember having opened her mouth. “Excuse me, young man?”

At first the boy didn’t seem to have heard her, but when his head turned along with the mower’s path his gaze caught hers and he let go of the mower’s dead-switch. “Sorry, were you talking to me?” he asked. His voice was still fresh, young. He was probably about twelve… Precisely the right age…

Marie thought she smiled, but she wasn’t quite sure. “Your family just moved in, right?” she began, conscious of the strange shakiness of her voice. When the boy nodded she added, “I’m Marie, from next door. What’s your name?”

The boy opened his mouth to answer, but another voice did it for him. “James!” called a blond-haired woman from the house. “Supper’s ready!”

Marie glanced at the woman, waved and smiled as best she could, and then looked back at the boy. No resemblance at all, she thought. He could very well be adopted…

“Sorry,” the boy said as he walked, abandoning the mower in the middle of the lawn. “She hates letting supper get cold. Maybe we’ll come over later to meet you!” And with that he was up the two steps on the front of the house and in through the door, gone.

Marie stared after him, her ears echoing with the sound of his voice, her eyes blinking back tears as she mentally compared the hair, the eyes, the cheekbones.

There was no doubt about it, she told herself. No doubt at all in her mind.

The boy next door was her grandson.

Monster in the Closet

Flash Fiction Fridays

Have you ever had a monster in your closet?

I don’t mean a real monster, of course, but rather the imaginary perils that children love to create from piles of dirty laundry and tree-branch shadows on nighttime walls. The kinds of monsters that never cross their mind during the day when they’re playing with their toys in the afternoon sun, but spring out of nowhere come bedtime when mommy and daddy just want you to lay down and at least pretend to fall asleep.

I wasn’t the kind of kid who cowered under the blankets and shrieked for mommy if that evil tree-branch tapped my bedroom window. No, I wanted the monsters to be real. I dared them to come out and face me. I would wait until my parents had sneaked away to their own room, and then I’d wiggle out from under the covers, plastic sword from the Dollar Store in my hand, and challenge the monsters. Every night I’d taunt them, call them names – whatever I could think of to make them slither out from their hiding places and fight me. I had this dream, you see, that I’d slay a monster and become a hero: the first grade-schooler to ever kill the monster from their closet.

Of course, eventually I grew out of such things. I stopped threatening the imaginary creatures in my room and went on to real life. But every now and then, when I was having a rough day or felt like the world was being unnecessarily cruel to me, I’d sit in the middle of my bed, pretending to have that cheap plastic sword in my hand, and yell at the monsters again, daring them to challenge me, urging them give me the opportunity to be a hero.

Yesterday, I lost my job, my girlfriend broke up with me, and the woman in the apartment above mine flooded my kitchen again by letting her tub fill too high. So I flopped onto my bed, screamed into my pillow, and since I was the only one in the apartment now, I grabbed my imaginary sword.

“Come get me, already!” I screamed, pouring my frustrations into the fantasy. “I’m ripe for the picking! Just come get me!”

If I live to be a hundred years old I’ll never forget the way the closet door creaked open in that exact moment.

Worlds Bleeding Together

Flash Fiction Fridays

I’m a bit preoccupied at the moment rereading my manuscript in an attempt to fall back in love with it – a la yesterday’s post – so I haven’t gotten a flash fiction post prepared. Instead, I thought I’d share a little scene from the story I’m trying to rekindle a relationship with. It’s way out of context, but I though it would make a nice little teaser. Enjoy!

It was clear that Tori was having difficultly forcing her brain to work properly, so Jared led her up to the next available teller. When she made no movement to take over the transaction, he began rummaging through her purse, pulled out the leaflets of papers and forms, and slid them across the counter. “Sorry,” he told the teller. “She’s, uh, having a really rough time. Please just tell me if there’s anything you need her to do or sign.”

Tori vaguely registered that the teller replied, but she was distracted, straining her ears to hear something else,something strange. It was a very faint sound, but she could swear that she was hearing some kind of a rumbling, and it was getting louder with each passing second. Not again, she thought. Please, no more. I don’t think I can take any more. Her gaze flicked back and for through the bank, from patrons to employees to the line at the ATM in the corner of the room, searching for even the tiniest hint that someone else was hearing the mounting din that sounded to her like rolling thunder. There was none. Everyone else in the building was going about business as usual, completely oblivious to the noise that was growing louder and louder and louder.

A hand fell on her shoulder. She jumped and whirled around to see Jared and the bank teller looking at her expectantly. Jared repeated the question, but Tori couldn’t make out his quiet voice over the noise, which was now reaching painfully loud levels. She placed her hands over her ears and took a step back. “I can’t hear you!” she shouted. She could barely hear her own voice, but Jared jumped in surprise and suddenly everyone in the room was turning to look at her.

She wanted to cry and scream. “Can’t you all hear that?” she moaned. People began to whisper to one another and a security guard stepped forward with a frown on his face. He looked at Tori and his lips moved, but she couldn’t understand a word.

She couldn’t stand it anymore. With her hands on her ears she turned to run from the building, and as she did so she felt something very warm touch the skin above her breasts. She looked down to find that the crystal pendant had slipped beneath the neck of her shirt and felt unnaturally hot against her bare skin. When she tore her eyes away from its shimmery glow it was to find herself standing in the middle of a large meadow with a stampede of horses – their footfalls like thunder – heading directly for her.

Tori shrieked at the top of her lungs and threw herself to the ground. And then, just like that, the sound of the stampede ceased, and she was instead surrounded by concerned murmurs. A man’s voice asked whether he should call 911, and a woman’s hissed for her children to step back. Tori peeked her head up from the floor and found Jared staring down at her, his eyes wide. Her face felt cold, like all the blood had been drained from it. After what seemed like a very long moment of hesitation Jared rushed forward to help her up, but she scrambled to her feet and held out her hands as though to say, “Don’t touch me.”

“Um… Should I call 911?” the same voice – another teller – repeated.

Jared shook his head, though it didn’t seem that he was so sure himself. “No, no,” he stuttered. “It’s okay. I’ll take her home.” He reached back to snatch Tori’s paperwork from the teller’s desk. He reached out a hand toward Tori and tried his very best to give her a reassuring smile. Tentative, unsure of anything anymore, Tori reached out and let him wrap his fingers around hers. As he did she saw another vision of his face, surrounded by shaggy hair and marred with a scar down his left cheek. She silently squeezed her eyes shut to banish the image.

“Are you sure she’s okay,” someone – the security guard, perhaps – asked. “She looks like she’s in pain.”

“She’s been through a lot recently,” Jared replied, squeezing Tori’s hand. “I promise that I’ll take her to the hospital if it seems necessary.” Then he began to lead Tori away from the whispers and murmurs of the bank patrons. She kept her eyes firmly closed until she was safely sitting in the passenger-side seat of her car. She opened them just long enough to fish her keys out of her purse and toss them to Jared, then closed them again for the entire drive home. By the time Jared had gotten her out of the car and to the living room couch she was so exhausted that she drifted immediately into fitful sleep.

The Eyes of a Monster

Flash Fiction Fridays

At first it was very dark. The girl thought that her eyes must have been closed, but she blinked a few times and realized that this was not the case. Blind then? She tried to lift her hand to wave it in front of her face, but found that she was unable to move very much. She wasn’t bound, but she appeared to be in a small, compressed space. She wiggled frantically and managed to coax her arms up near her face, but she her eyes refused to register them. So…blind, possibly, or perhaps just cut off from any inkling of light, given her current predicament.

She wiggled some more, twisted herself in all directions. She felt along the edges of her confinement as best she could. It seemed to be some kind of rectangular metal enclosure, positioned vertically so that she was forced to stand while in it. She felt all along it, twisting herself in circles, looking for an exit. She found a seam on one side, running vertically down along the juncture between walls, but she found no handle, no clasps, nothing to allow her to open the structure. Instead she tried pushing. She pushed with all her strength, breathing deep and slow. She pushed again and again, losing a little of her strength each time. She was getting nowhere, fast. And she was beginning to panic. Where the hell was she and why was she trapped in this…this coffin?!

Before she knew it her breathing had sped up, her heart begun to hammer. And then she noticed something that she hadn’t before, something that frightened her to her core. Her breath and her heartbeat were the only sounds she could hear. Otherwise, she was in complete and total silence. Horrifying, maddening silence. She began to beat on the walls, but she had very little space with which to gain momentum, thus her impacts created only the soft padding of her skin making contact with the metal surface.

That was when she tried to scream for the first time.

She couldn’t.

A deep dread set in. Mind-numbing terror.

She tried again. No sound escaped her throat but for the vague rasping of her breath leaving her body at rapidly increasing intervals. Again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Her hands flew to her throat, clawing at it desperately, willing some noise to come from it.

She felt something strange. There was a seam on her throat. With wide, unseeing eyes, she traced the raised bit of skin from it’s starting point just under her chin, down, down, past her collarbone, past her breasts. There was something else there as well, she realized. Something that periodically broke the rigid seam that split her body in two.


She lost what tiny strand of sanity she was still clinging to. She opened her mouth in silent shrieks, breathing faster and harder, hyperventilating, drawing in every last ounce of oxygen in the tiny enclosure. She pounded on the walls of the box with every ounce of strength she could muster. She rocked back and forth, banging her entire body into the walls, shrieking her silent shrieks. She willed herself to make some kind of noise, any kind of noise.

Any kind of noise!

The light was so sudden that it shocked her into stillness. She fell back against the wall behind her and her hands flew to her face to block the onslaught of bright white. It took what seemed like a long time for the spots in front of her eyes to disappear, but then she slowly moved her fingers, one by one, until she could see what happened. A small square window had been opened up on the wall in front of her. The light shining through really wasn’t all that bright now that her vision was beginning to adjust, but what she could see through the window was more ghastly than anything she’d experienced up to that point.

A pair of dark green eyes stared back at her; cold, fathomless, without emotion. They were the eyes of someone running an experiment. The eyes of someone who didn’t give the slightest damn about her personal well-being. They were the eyes of a monster.

The Shadow in the Corner

Flash Fiction Fridays

The rain fell steadily. Just outside the window it hit a drain pipe, over and over again. Ping…ping…ping… Somewhere off to the side of the outer wall it was striking something that made a sound like guitar strings being plucked. Twang…twang…twang… This was the sound that had woken Amy in the first place, or, at least she’d thought that was what awakened her.

She’d laid in bed for a long time, just listening to the rain and wondering whether it would be such an awful thing to call in sick today. She shivered at the idea of having to go out into that rain. She’d be soaked in moments, and with the temperature as low as it was she’d be freezing moments after that. In fact, now that she thought about it, surely the roads would be treacherous. That was definitely a good excuse.

She was just convincing herself that her boss would be totally on board with her skipping work to avoid vehicular suicide, when she thought she felt movement in the room. Her eyes flicked open and scanned the darkness. She could make out the shape of her desk, her dresser, and the little table she kept her mirror and makeup on. And there was another silhouette – a tall one – leering at her from the far corner of the room.

Amy didn’t even realize that she’d been holding her breath, but as she stared, wide-eyed and unblinking, her lips parted and a little gasp escaped. And the second that tiny breath of air floated past her tongue, the shadow moved toward her at incredible speed.

A minuscule voice in the very back of Amy’s head thought, Well I guess we don’t need an excuse to get out of work now.

The Vibrating Horror

Flash Fiction Fridays

Chad’s backpack was vibrating.

For a good, round ten seconds he stared at the bag and scarcely registered the reality of the situation. He heard the low, mechanical hum and saw the hummingbird-like movement from within the front pocket, but for that first long moment his brain rejected the information it was being fed. What’s that sound? he thought, innocent to the end. Whose bag is making that sound?

Then the airport security lady’s hand came down on the bag – his only carry-on luggage – and as though from a long way away he heard her voice ask, “May I take a look in your bag, sir?”

His mind screamed, “NO!” but he heard his voice crack out a hesitant, “Yes…”

The security lady grasped the zipper just above the embroidered words that had congratulated his crew on surpassing one million man-hours without a lost-time accident, and as she began to pull the pocket open Chad heard his coworkers in line behind him trying, and failing, to surprise their giggles.

I won’t let them see that they’ve gotten to me, he thought. I won’t give them the satisfaction.

The security lady’s hand came out of the backpack grasping a little hot-pink remote with two buttons, and attached to that remote was a long hot-pink wire, at the end of which dangled a bright hot-pick ball. The ball vibrated wildly as it swung back and forth in the air in front of her.

Chad’s coworkers were in hysterics now, and although he was trying his hardest not to look her in the eye, he could tell that the security lady was struggling to restrain a smile herself.

“Shall I remove the batteries for you, sir?” she asked as other passengers whispered to one another and snickered. The coworkers roared openly.

That was the day Chad vowed he would have his revenge.